Governor Brown, today, will be announcing an agreement reached between the State Legislature and 2 major Unions in California regarding minimum wage. The unions had registered 2 differing minimum wage initiatives and got them on the California ballot, thus going around the State Government to let the people vote on the idea.
According to news reports, the negotiated deal would boost California’s statewide minimum wage from $10 an hour to $10.50 on Jan. 1, 2017, with a 50-cent increase in 2018 and then $1-per-year increases through 2022. Businesses with fewer than 25 employees would have an extra year to comply, delaying their workers receiving a $15 hourly wage until 2023.
Future statewide minimum wage increases would be linked to inflation, but a governor would have the power to temporarily block some of the initial increases in the event of an economic downturn.
While we have often written here that we oppose minimum wage increases without acknowledging the other “hidden” costs such as large increases in Worker’s Comp costs, this may be the better of the choices available. The other initiatives on the ballot would have raised the minimum rate more rapidly so the next 2 years we only get a .50 raise each of the first 2 years.
Of course, by 2022, $15 will not raise anyone out of “poverty” since the line will rise as well, so by then the new chant may be $20 per hour. And so it goes…..
Its backers are hopeful that the final agreement will allow them to formally withdraw that initiative in a few weeks.
“We want to look at the details first,” said Steve Trossman of Service Employees International-United Healthcare Workers West.
Sources say the Legislature could vote on the wage compromise as soon as the end of next week by amending an existing bill on hold since 2015.
It is of note that NO BUSINESS OWNERS OR ORGANIZATIONS WERE INCLUDED IN ANY OF THESE DISCUSSIONS. So much for open and transparent government!!
We will continue to monitor this law as it is rewritten and passes through the Legislature to the Governor’s desk. Then we have to hope the initiatives are pulled from the ballot as well. Stay tuned……